XVI ILO Regional Seminar for Labour-Based Practitioners in Africa

More than 300 African and international experts are meeting from 26-30 October in Cotonou, Benin to explore labour-based approaches for sustainable development.

Press release | 26 October 2015
COTONOU(ILO News) – The 16th Regional Seminar of Labour-Based Practitioners, organized by the Government of Benin in partnership with the International Labour Organization (ILO), was officially opened by the Minister of Public Works and Transport, H.E. Gustave Depo Sonon, at the Palais des Congrès in Cotonou.

The week-long seminar will be reviewing “the Employment Intensive Investment approach contributing to Sustainable Development in the Context of Decentralization” with participants coming from African countries and abroad, including Timor-Leste.

The objective is to focus on employment intensive and sustainable approaches in environmental protection, natural resource management and local resource-based initiatives to better serve communities. The interactive platform will examine issues related to development of alternative construction technologies, creation of green jobs and environmentally friendly economic growth, training opportunities to improve youth employability, and resilience and social welfare of local communities.

Benin has been successful in using Employment Intensive Investment (EII) approaches through the availability of sustainable financing for decentralized investments with a high potential for employment impact, emphasized H.E. Gustave Depo Sonon in his opening remarks.

In Benin, EII approaches have been successful in addressing youth unemployment and in mitigating the perverse effects of previous structural adjustment programmes. Since 1999 they are considered as an effective institutional and operational strategy and a sustainable solution to the maintenance challenges faced in infrastructure and rural transport. They are also considered as a sustainable example of the sharing of responsibilities between the State and decentralized institutions.

Some 2,634 km of rural roads have been created or rehabilitated, 700 SMEs trained, 4,500 skilled jobs created and the EII approach has been accepted in 76 of 77 districts in Benin.

The ILO in partnership with African states periodically organizes an international meeting dedicated to knowledge and practices sharing relative to Labour-intensive or labour-based works development, evolution and promotion throughout the world.